Gopher softball 2021

Hrothgar

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I agree about the expectations for 2021, but from the gitgo they need to be a lot better than they were in 2020. 2021 pitching should be strong enough. Sorely needed, though, will be some true clutch hitting & long ball power to back up Jensen, Partain, and DenHartog. Also significantly improved defense from catching, first base, and at least one outfield position is necessary.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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At this point, I think they really "go for it" every year. And what I mean by that is they intend to win a Big 10 title (regular season or tournament) and get a seed (hopefully a top-eight) in the NCAAs.

The program has built itself to a place where that level of expectation is warranted.

Whether they reach those goals remains to be seen, but they certainly haven't backed away from challenges in recent years.
I understand where you at coming from, especially as regards to year-in year-out expecting to be the premier or co-premier softball team of the Big Ten Conference. Over the last 5 or so years that expectation has become a realistic expectation that I accept that and have that expectation as well.

I will quibble with you in regards to team rosters like Minnesota not being strategically managed understanding some years will be more developmental-focused and other years will be less “developmental”. I believe strategic roster management should happen for a team like the Gophers; but this coming year (2021) is not one of those... it’s all out.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I agree about the expectations for 2021, but from the gitgo they need to be a lot better than they were in 2020. 2021 pitching should be strong enough. Sorely needed, though, will be some true clutch hitting & long ball power to back up Jensen, Partain, and DenHartog. Also significantly improved defense from catching, first base, and at least one outfield position is necessary.
Hrothgar, the reason I am so bullish on 2021 is we basically have that same lineup as we did in that somewhat rocky 2020 season, but with 9 new bat swingers (8 Freshman plus 1 transfer)! That is just too many people and therefore mathematically at least some of them must be able to hit college pitching. They have to... right?

I just think this 5th year compensatory season of eligibility for our seniors came at the perfect time for our program’s present and future. Bringing Fiser, Partain, Kemmetmueller and Brandt back for this 5th season along with our normal roster for 2021 is just a big boost. Without this group of 5th year seniors, especially Fiser, I do fear this would have been a developmental year in waiting for Emily Leavitt to get here in 2022 to strengthen our pitching staff.
 

Hrothgar

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What I know is what I saw on the field in 2020. We went to FLA expecting to see a superb team off a WCWS berth in 2019. What I saw was a lackluster team without any visible drive to win, mediocre hitting, and ordinary defense. Maybe the change in coaching will help, and hopefully the 2021 team will feature some high caliber new talent. Winning the BIG title and progresssing through the NCAAs will require some uplift in performance, both at the plate on offense and behind it on defense.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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What I know is what I saw on the field in 2020. We went to FLA expecting to see a superb team off a WCWS berth in 2019. What I saw was a lackluster team without any visible drive to win, mediocre hitting, and ordinary defense. Maybe the change in coaching will help, and hopefully the 2021 team will feature some high caliber new talent. Winning the BIG title and progresssing through the NCAAs will require some uplift in performance, both at the plate on offense and behind it on defense.
Hrothgar, the team you saw in 2020 was not as good as the 2019 team. I don’t think coaching had anything to do with it. It was the players that were different. You expected to see Brandner, our most powerful slugger, and she wasn’t there. Jensen wasn’t healthy yet.

The team you saw lost Houlihan (2- batter), Smith (quality 2 pitcher), Arneson (short-stop witch is often a team’s best athlete) and Brandner (3-batter)... with only Smith being fully replaced by Pease. The 2020 team was good, but could not dominate against the teams you saw them play against.

I just think in 2021, for the reasons I stated in earlier posts, that those 9 new players and a healthy Jensen WILL be able to fully replace Brandner, Arneson, and Houlihan and we will be a darn good team... maybe even dominant.

Now we just need to get a full 2021 softball schedule announced for the Spring. If it isn’t a full schedule, I will be even more depressed in this era of COVID.
 

Hrothgar

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Hrothgar, the team you saw in 2020 was not as good as the 2019 team. I don’t think coaching had anything to do with it. It was the players that were different. You expected to see Brandner, our most powerful slugger, and she wasn’t there. Jensen wasn’t healthy yet.

The team you saw lost Houlihan (2- batter), Smith (quality 2 pitcher), Arneson (short-stop witch is often a team’s best athlete) and Brandner (3-batter)... with only Smith being fully replaced by Pease. The 2020 team was good, but could not dominate against the teams you saw them play against.

I just think in 2021, for the reasons I stated in earlier posts, that those 9 new players and a healthy Jensen WILL be able to fully replace Brandner, Arneson, and Houlihan and we will be a darn good team... maybe even dominant.

Now we just need to get a full 2021 softball schedule announced for the Spring. If it isn’t a full schedule, I will be even more depressed in this era of COVID.
Good comments, class of 98. I don't pretend to be an expert and I root for the Gophers as a fan only. What I saw in 2020, before it abruptly ended, was a team unable to compete talent-wise and unprepared to do so mentally, as witnessed by lapses at the plate and in the field. Isn't it the coaching staff's job to address those problems?
 

MRJ

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Looks like conference only schedules for Big 10 softball and baseball.
Not surprising. Until Covid gets sorted out, I have a feeling most conferences are going to try and limit schedules as much as possible while still trying to get a full season in.

It sucks, but at least they're still planning on having a season.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Not surprising. Until Covid gets sorted out, I have a feeling most conferences are going to try and limit schedules as much as possible while still trying to get a full season in.

It sucks, but at least they're still planning on having a season.
My question is WHERE are these Big Ten (northern) teams going to play each other?Florida? If not, instead if a 55 game season it will be a 25-30 game season.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Looks like conference only schedules for Big 10 softball and baseball.
I’ve thought about this for many days now and I understand how an all-conference schedule may help southern schools balance COVID spread with getting games in. However it seems all-around bad for northern teams. Northern teams have to travel South anyway to get any games in in February and much of March.

Softball is a socially distant sport, of sorts, played outside in the open air. I just think Big Ten teams and their conference leadership should fight for a traditional schedule.
 

FormerFatOL

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My question is WHERE are these Big Ten (northern) teams going to play each other?Florida? If not, instead if a 55 game season it will be a 25-30 game season.
I know this would never happen with the popularity of televised CWS/WCWS, but 2021 could be the perfect season for both northern softball and baseball teams to create their own season that starts later and stretches into the summer. Dreaming.
 
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